Home Local News Honorarium Review Looks at Pay For TMSU Board of Directors

Honorarium Review Looks at Pay For TMSU Board of Directors

Review coincides with removal of five directors for “abandonment” of duties

by Jack Wannan
Photo of a blue emergency pole on campus.
Photo of a blue emergency pole on campus looking west on Gould (Olivia Wiens/On The Record)

Honorarium payments of up to $3,000 for Toronto Metropolitan Student Union (TMSU) board of directors are “under review” amid five members being voted out of their positions for “abandonment” of their positions earlier this week.

TMSU vice president of operations Spyros Zarros said the review will consider the participation of board members since their term started in May 2022.

“We are still going to be reviewing the board participation and making honorarium allocations based on the participation of board members,” said Zarros in a statement to On The Record. “Once we make the allocations the board will be notified.”

The board of directors removed five members this week for not attending the requisite number of meetings. Abandonment is defined by missing three consecutive meetings, or any four meetings during their tenure.

TMSU bylaws determine that the board can vote to remove a member after they “abandon” their position. The member is officially removed after a vote passes with at least two-thirds of the voters in favour of the motion.

With 21 of 23 votes in favour of the motion, Joel Kuriakose, Kiera Gray, Zroha Khalid, Aman Mathur, and April West were removed from their board positions on Thursday. The meeting minutes show that the five ousted members were marked absent for meetings on Oct. 25, 2022, Nov. 25, 2022, and Jan. 17.

Kuriakose told The Eyeopener that he was unable to join Zoom meetings, describing being left in the waiting room. Zarros told the paper that Kuriakose could have contacted the board’s WhatsApp to fix technical issues related to the meeting. Kuriakose, for his part, says he only learned about being in the WhatsApp group as of this past Thursday.

“There are avenues to communicate when there are technical issues to join meetings and many board members have done this,” Zarros said, in a message to On The Record.

The vote could bar the five members from participating in student politics in the future. 

TMSU bylaw 4.4 states that someone is “ineligible” to join the board if they have previously “abandoned, been impeached or dismissed as a director.”

Kuriakose, who represented the board of governors until he was voted off this week, said he will not engage in politics at TMU going forward.

“I am done with student politics … I’m on retirement officially,” he told On The Record.

Kuriakose, who in 2021 was on the TMSU board of governors representing the faculty of community services, also said that he will not pursue any honorarium, believing he won’t be able to obtain one.

Zarros told On The Record that the board of directors can receive up to $3,000 in honorarium payments. Directors are paid $1,000 for each semester that they hold the position.

Reporter, On The Record, Winter 2023

This article may have been created with the use of AI software such as Google Docs, Grammarly, and/or Otter.ai for transcription.

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